In 2021, the Institute celebrates...

...its 50th anniversary. We would like to use the year to look back on the eventful history of the IFSH and at the same time take a look at current challenges and developments. What are the central security policy debates today and how can our work contribute to peaceful coexistence? In short: what constitutes peace research today?
Established as a foundation on 11 June 1971 in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, the Institute can look back on many years of dealing with questions of peace and security. From the very beginning, the Institute's work has focussed on the interplay between research and the concrete handling of current security policy challenges.

Peace and security research

Our research provides orientation in a time of profound upheaval and crisis. For the IFSH’s focal topics are directed towards the central societal challenges of our time, be it the question of why we are experiencing increasing societal polarisation and why societal cohesion is increasingly being called into question, or what security risks technological change brings with it and why we may experience a new global arms race in the future; or what the consequences of climate change are for security and peace; or how international organisations can secure peace worldwide and, above all, whether the European peace project can still have a future – and what that future will be.

Independent research is more indispensable than ever

Especially today, analyses and evaluations by independent scientists and scholars are indispensable in informing political and social debates. For we are facing complex challenges in all these fields. Our researchers contribute to addressing these challenges in the interest of a security policy that is consistently compatible with peace. Since the IFSH’s founding, the focus of our research has been on a comprehensive approach to security policy issues.

We take a pan-European view, which includes questions of internal and external security in Europe. Our interdisciplinary research brings together findings from the social and natural sciences, and our problem-oriented approach serves to identify very concrete and current problem situations as well as their possible solutions.

Peace and security cannot be taken for granted

Some of the topics the Institute has worked on have been consistent for decades, while others have been added only recently. But one insight has remained unchanged: peace and security cannot be taken for granted. And researching their complex foundations will therefore remain the task of the IFSH in the future in order for us to be able to continue to provide guidance and make a concrete contribution to dealing with of security policy challenges.
Peace and security concern us all. I would therefore like to invite you in our anniversary year to get an idea of our research, to participate in our events - whether digital or in-person - and to inform yourself about our history and current work on our website and in our publications.

Yours sincerely, Ursula Schröder

Prof. Dr. Ursula Schröder

Prof. Dr. Ursula Schröder

Director of the IFSH


Congratulations from First Mayor of Hamburg

    50 years at a glance

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    The IFSH Celebrates 50 Years - Senate Reception at Hamburg City Hall (Video)

    Impressions from the celebration on 11 June 2021

    “Peace is not everything, but without peace, everything is nothing.” This dictum from Willy Brandt is our mandate and our motivation. For 50 years, we have been researching the mutually dependent…

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Anniversary Events

11 June: reception on 50th Anniversary

"50 Years Peace Research in Hamburg" - Anniversary reception at the Hamburg City Hall

watch video recording (in German)


50 Years of Peace Research in Hamburg – Impressions from the Celebration

The grand ballroom of the Hamburg City Hall normally hosts guests from both home and abroad, or is laid out for the Feast of Saint Matthias, the world’s oldest feast. But it was there that the red carpet was rolled out for the IFSH on 11 June 2021. Hamburg’s Second Mayor and Senator of Science, Katharina Fegebank, hosted a Senate reception on the occasion of the Institute’s 50th anniversary. Our camera captured the event’s most special moments.

Historical Photo Gallery